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Dropping boards - cleaning and what to put on them.

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I would like to use a dropping board in my chicken coop. However, I am having a problem with its placement. My coop is 4x6, sits two feet off the ground, and will be home to 5 chickens. The roost will be 4 feet long so it is placed on the side wall that has the highest pitch (it has a slant roof). Now, the problem I am having is that the doors to the coop are along the 6 foot side. There will be two of them, that way I only have to open one side to clean it in the winter. It has come to my attention that most of the coops on here you guys can access the dropping board from the front, making for easy cleaning. But I have to access it from the side, unless I want to crawl into the coop. It will be removable for easy spring cleaning but I need help on in between cleanings. Any ideas on how to clean it from the side? What if I put shavings on it and some DE? How deep would the shavings be? Then I just kind of turn it every few days? Or I could try and take a little kids rake and try and rake off the worst stuff every day.... Or what if I just used DE like a litter box? Would that make it easier to rake? The dropping board is going to be a a 2x4 board covered in linoleum, I can add a lip if needed. Any other ideas or suggestions? They would be greatly appreciated.  

post #2 of 9
Chickens aren't necessarily going to have their butts all facing the same way. If you just use a 2x4, you will need one for each side of the roost?

Why don't you make a larger droppings board that slides out to the outside for daily maintenance? Basically like a shallow tray. You could do it longways or shortways.

Examples:


post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thank you for replying. I have read about the pull out try but decided it would not work for me. The doors are on the outside of the coop. If it is driving rain or snowing like crazy or the wind is blowing like mad I do not want to open the door. Driving rain would drench the inside of the coop. There is an overhang but if the rain is coming in sideways that would not help. I was hoping to put something on the drop board so that if I had to skip a day of cleaning it would not end up being mile high mounds of poo. That was why I was thinking pdz by itself or with shavings. I have seen people say they have shavings with pdz and things just kinda decompose. I guess it is not true deep litter because it is not on dirt but kinda works the same? I just do not know how much shavings to use or how much pdz. Or would straight pdz work better? 

post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiana Rose View Post
 

Thank you for replying. I have read about the pull out try but decided it would not work for me. The doors are on the outside of the coop. If it is driving rain or snowing like crazy or the wind is blowing like mad I do not want to open the door. Driving rain would drench the inside of the coop. There is an overhang but if the rain is coming in sideways that would not help. I was hoping to put something on the drop board so that if I had to skip a day of cleaning it would not end up being mile high mounds of poo. That was why I was thinking pdz by itself or with shavings. I have seen people say they have shavings with pdz and things just kinda decompose. I guess it is not true deep litter because it is not on dirt but kinda works the same? I just do not know how much shavings to use or how much pdz. Or would straight pdz work better? 

 

I have read multiple posts about people using only PDZ like a kitty litter type box. Only a couple inches is needed and you can scoop it out with a kitty poop-scoop. They PDZ neutralizes the ammonia in the waste, so it won't build up fumes and can be left for a couple days if it has to, so if the weather is horrible, you can wait until the driving rain has died down and the chickens won't be suffering. That is the summary of what I have been reading. We are almost finished with our coop and this is the exact method we are going to be using.

 

Edited to add that another good point I read was that because of its neutralizing properties, the PDZ only needs to be added to when it gets low and hardly ever changed out entirely. Saves time and money. Also, the PDZ is natural material that can be thrown right into the compost pile with no harmful effects for gardens, etc. I love this stuff already!


Edited by ChickityChina - 3/22/16 at 7:39am
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post #5 of 9
Perhaps instead of a droppings board, a droppings pit would work best for you?
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChickityChina View Post

I have read multiple posts about people using only PDZ like a kitty litter type box. Only a couple inches is needed and you can scoop it out with a kitty poop-scoop. They PDZ neutralizes the ammonia in the waste, so it won't build up fumes and can be left for a couple days if it has to, so if the weather is horrible, you can wait until the driving rain has died down and the chickens won't be suffering. That is the summary of what I have been reading. We are almost finished with our coop and this is the exact method we are going to be using.

Edited to add that another good point I read was that because of its neutralizing properties, the PDZ only needs to be added to when it gets low and hardly ever changed out entirely. Saves time and money. Also, the PDZ is natural material that can be thrown right into the compost pile with no harmful effects for gardens, etc. I love this stuff already!

We use PDZ on the poopboard and I honestly can't say anything negative about it. It controls odor, absorbs moisture and makes cleanup a breeze. I use a mesh paper tray and a wide putty knife to sift out the poo, dump it into a bucket and throw it on the compost pile. 10 minutes and everything is clean.
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2 Buff Orpingtons, 4 Black Sex Links,. 1 Golden Retriever, 1 "old man" cat and 2 Betta.
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post #7 of 9
The coop I am going to build is 8 feet long and 4 feet deep. With a roof going from 4 to 5 feet. Two large doors along the front to open for maintenance. But I am only going to have to open one door to clean the roosts because I am putting all the roosts on one end. All on the same level. With a poop board underneath and space for the chickens to walk under it. I will either do removable roofs in notches or put them on hinges so I can just lift them up and scoop under them. I plan to use PD Z no more than 2 inches deep, probably more like one.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the reply's. I think I may go with the pdz tray. Maybe I can rig something up with a long handle to get the far end (4 feet). Does that hold up well if you do not clean it for a day or two? I plan to clean it every day when I can but if bad weather hits I want to make sure the chickens will be ok without the tray being scooped.They have a covered run so hopefully will be spending some time outside as well. I figured to have 5" between the roost and dropping board.

 

Also, does anyone know how it would work to put the opening of the outdoor nest box under the tray? I am finding lots of info about inside nest boxes under the tray but I need outdoor nest boxes so they have as much room as possible inside. I was going to put the nest box on the far side from the roost (short side of the slant roof) but it has been raining every day and the ground on that side is wet inside the run a bit. The ground on the tall side (where I want to put the roost) is dry so figured the nesting boxes would be better on that side. I hope that made sense. Would they go under the tray to get to the nest boxes? The tray is going to be 17" off the floor.

post #9 of 9
17 inches is enough headroom for them to go under and go into the box. I am putting mine on the opposite end from the roofs but I don't think it really matters. Whatever works for you.
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